Guest blogger: Infantilizing R2

Sent to me by a self-professed ‘old fart.’ She’s a retired firefighter and a welding student who listens to the CBC all day.
She’s also an American, close enough to the border to get the signal.

I am a regular listener of CBC R2 and a big fan of Jurgen Gothe. On weekends I tune out because I dislike most of the programing. Today I was listening to the frivolous Andrew Craig say, without any irony, ~” Eric Friesen is taking some well deserved time for himself.” He just had a 2 week vacation, was back for a week blathering on about god’s creatures and Mozart, etc. Did they put him in solitary confinement in a rubber room?

Is this how they make hosts redundant?

I’m also wondering if the CBC is slowly shutting out women’s voices as on air hosts, substitutes and announcers? This is more bad news for equality in the workplace and the airwaves. I am losing hope in Canadian fairness. Could it be that the Rovian neo cons and the religious right are infiltrating your government and media?! I am so sorry for you-all.

Firedame von Bellingham


  1. Dwight Williams
    Posted August 12, 2007 at 12:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’d certainly hope that the Firedame’s wrong on all her fears. I’m looking forward to seeing Tremonti, Rogers et al. retake their jobs come the fall, to name a handful of examples.

    And as for a Rove-style purge…no thank you. I want none of those, either.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 12:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    A note about the nearby Seattle market. The KUOW, NPR station, in Seattle is higher rated than commercial station according to recent Arbitron figures.
    “…Spring-quarter ratings and rankings for non-commercial stations in the Seattle-Tacoma market are out, and by interpolating them with the commercial-station data released last week by Arbitron, it’s apparent that KUOW finished first, as it did in winter quarter. The top-rated commercial stations were KMPS-FM (94.1) and KOMO. KPLU-FM (88.5) came in 14th on the combined list”….

    They really want a CBC down there.

  3. Allan
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 8:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And isn’t C-FUN an all female station today?

    Jack and I produced The Jack Wasserman Show.

    And I appeared on two shows, People In Conflict and People In Court.

    In some ways I’m still appearing on them.

  4. Bill Lee
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 3:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan said:
    “One afternoon I was sitting alone in the studio with veteran broadcaster Vic Waters (who mentored a lot of careers) getting advice about being in radio, and there came a moment when he looked at me and said something I’ve never forgotten.
    ‘There’ll never be women in radio.'”

    Ah, Vic Waters. He mentored a lot of people: Fred Latremouille, Bruno Cimolai, Red Robinson.

    In those days they were looking for new gimmicks and trends to build an audience.
    Multiple genres were common, with the late night being teen-time.

    CJOR, Water’s only station (he did a bit of CBC TV work) was part of the CBC Trans-Canada network and had plays and such in the 1940s in its own theatre with a young Lister Sinclair.

    George Chandler and CJOR

    Vic Waters

    Vic Waters thumbnail

    And while they took their training responsibilities more seriously then (The radio schools were closing down, Sprott-Shaw being across Howe Street) so they needed to develop local talent.

    Nowadays with serious education and the publich Tech schools like Rye High, SAIT, BCIT radio schools you will find that more than half are women and many are not Anglo-saxon these days.

    Women will get into radio more and more but there are fewer opportunties (other than the CBC) for them to open their mouths rather than push the button on the (limited) playlist of easy music.

    Accountants run the stations these days and take few risks with programming.

    Having no advertizers to offend, a devotion to multiple formats, CBC (and college or ‘community’ radios which don’t “pay” much) are the only outlet for the young new style radio persons of either gender.

    If there were an infinite number of internaet stations and there were easy ways to catch them without a wired connection, there might be more opportunities.

    Don’t people think that Alex Frame put up more women on CBC radio, but then the interpretation was that they would be easier to control to his ideas of programming.

    Bellingham, Washington State gets the advantage of three worlds (Vancouver, Victoria, and the Seattle stations) See the formats they can get at :
    or on the FM page and look at all the formats one can hear with a good antenna on a hill.

  5. fog cutter
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is anybody anticipating the hiring of a progressive visionary with the common sense to cut the fat and revolutionize the CBC?

    Does anyone truly believe that an open-minded, unaffiliated individual is what is being sought to “re-define” the CBC?

    When stories such as these appear (or the one detailing the scientology fool hired to revamp our local news…) it is imperative that we react loudly.

    CBC is for the people.

    But, where are the people?
    Has the kool-aid taken full effect?

    Tom Long is free to do whatever he does as long as we are unable/unwilling to call a spade a spade and to demand answers and accountability.

  6. Allan
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 4:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Surely there are people of every political persuasion working at the CBC.
    What party a person belongs to or how they voted is not the issue, it’s policies and actions that count.
    No surprise that Tom Long has found yet another source of revenue to tap. He’s good at what he does.
    I heard him interviewed in Vancouver when he was running for the leadership of a rather unappetizing political party.
    Vancouverites had no real interest in Ontario politics – that’s those people’s problem back east, let them sort it out.
    But it was probably just my imagination that viewed his candidacy as an elaborate farce, the kind of hoax that’s perpetrated on the sleepy public who haven’t yet fully realized that it’s all part of a game plan with the outcome already decided in secret meetings.
    He was doing a darn good job of tap dancing through the interview as if he was for real, when it struck me that he in no way intended to ever really take office, but just help the party look good, polish his presentation skills, and that a pot of money at the end of the road had already been promised and set aside for Long regardless of the outcome. No one in a million years thought Long was a sincere public servant.
    Very much an elaborate ruse, and a test of how long he could keep a straight face.
    And he is without question, one of the best.
    For me, Tom Long is kind of a poster-boy for what political life is all about – same as most career paths – making more money for yourself.

  7. Allan
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 3:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Bellingham is a very odd location, just minutes from the Peace Arch.
    I remember visiting a Christian radio station there, and a few Canadians doing programming from there because Canada didn’t allow all-out religious stations.
    Jimmy Swaggart was especially good.
    But this post is an opportunity to share an unforgettable moment in my first year in radio – 1967.
    One afternoon I was sitting alone in the studio with veteran broadcaster Vic Waters (who mentored a lot of careers) getting advice about being in radio, and there came a moment when he looked at me and said something I’ve never forgotten.
    “There’ll never be women in radio.”
    And considering the Vancouver market at that time and in the previous 5 years that I had been listening, I had no reason to doubt him.

  8. Bill Lee
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 2:44 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    R2 from Bellingham, Washinghton State (where you can see the CBU-FM transmitter on Mount Seymour in the far distance in North Vancouver) is contrasting local radio in the local U.S. (all male, all pop/talk/sports) with a more civilized, quiet wide-ranging radio.

    Seattle has several stations (out of range) like this, either NPR, PRI, or foundation sponsored.

    Radio Bugaloo has women, in the evening, after midnight with the sainted Danielle Charbonneau and other times, but women are given the new cater-to-younger-cohort programming, with few cultural references or widenners? I wonder if anyone reads, or the CBC pays for Atkinson fellowships. (What did Kevin Sylvester, former CBC sports guy do on his recent year of f at UofT?)

    I think that it is bad bosses as in;_ylt=As0I5RJL_6ptFkZh_pCAui4DW7oF
    How do people get ahead in the workplace? One way seems to be by making their subordinates miserable, according to a study released on Friday.

    In the study to be presented at a conference on management this weekend, almost two-thirds of the 240 participants in an online survey said the local workplace tyrant was either never censured or was promoted for domineering ways.

    “The fact that 64.2 percent of the respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to….

    And that CBC leadership doesn’t.
    Lead, that is.

  9. Dr Satori
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 1:42 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “I’m also wondering if the CBC is slowly shutting out women’s voices as on air hosts, substitutes and announcers?”

    Is that an intuitively based question or factual? I’m putting in a request to CBC human resources to learn the truth about male to female hiring ratios and job classifications and promotion trends. Who wants to set-up a betting pool site? I should hear back from them ….around infinity.

    [My word verification for this comment was ycygay BTW.]

  10. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The R2 side of the Ceeb actually wants more women and more “diverse” voices to be hosts. But the problem is that there really isn’t a host development program in place at all–it’s a huge issue. So what you hear on the R2 airwaves right now are mostly the old-school broadcasters and people who’ve just managed to get enough training to do the job. So it’s not an issue of a neocon or religious right influence, just a very unfortunate lack of foresight on the part of management.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2007 at 6:04 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Just wait til Tom Long hires the next news chief to complete the coup.

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